Living Stones Via de Cristo

Summer Newsletter

From the Lay Director

The Call to be an Invitational Servant Leader

 On each retreat weekend, pilgrims receive a cross in a special ceremony just prior to the Clausura. The purpose behind the cross ceremony is to honor the learning and growth that has taken place during the 72 hour retreat and give each pilgrim the chance to recommit to their walk with God.  The words are spoken, "Christ is counting on you, and who or what are you counting on?" The response that follows, "I am counting on Christ!"  What a joy and comfort it is to know that we can trust and turn to our God in all circumstances to sustain us in our earthly journey! 

 As the Living Stones community continues to provide opportunities for Christian men and women to grow in their faith walk through  prayer, reading scripture, and doing Christ-like service, I am asking each of you to consider how you might work with the Secretariat to further this movement in a way that is pleasing to God. In John 13; 12-15 Jesus encourages us to serve others in the same way that he modeled for us in the way he lived his life. 

 We need you to start today to pray about fellow Christians that you know that would be blessed by attending a weekend.  Now is the time to extend those invitations with dates, times, and the specifics so that others can pray about attending the fall retreats.  Now is the time to respond either if you are called, or feel called to offer to be on team. Now is the time to pray for this movement, the pastors who graciously serve with us, our churches, and our community to further God's will for the work of equipping Christian Leaders. 

 We have many chances in the coming months to work together and to lift each other and this community up in service to our God. Mark your calendar for the  next Ultreya on July 20th at Trinity Lexington Park.  Contact me if you are willing to be part of the organizing and planning committee for the 40th anniversary of this community that will be celebrated in November. Please contact me if you are looking for a way to be more involved in Living Stones Via de Cristo.  God has no other plan for furthering his kingdom and this community is one way we can work together to serve Him and build Christian community in our homes, work places, churches, neighborhoods, and the world. 

Dawn Pipkin

Join us on Saturday, July 20 for a wonderful evening of reconnecting with your Living Stones VdC community! Come out and be blessed by seeing your brothers & sisters. There will be fellowship, music, food and a 4th day speaker. Please bring a main dish, side dish or dessert to share! Musicians should bring your instrument.

We will meet at Trinity Lutheran Church, 5800 Backlick Road, Lexington Park, MD.

Questions about the Ultreya? Contact David Bowles @

Reflections on VdC

Happy Summer!

This is a time for joyfulness. Do you remember how joyful your pilgrim weekend was?

Take time this summer to pray about with whom you would like to share this experience.

Perhaps, reach out to previous pilgrims and see if they are involved in the community or know of someone who may be.

It is never too early to support sponsorship by prayers, green palanca or pilgrim applications.

Des Colores,

Macon Uskurait

"Uncommon Men"

 Hard to believe that it has been almost 5 years since I did my walk, but can still remember like it was yesterday.  Brother Fred dressed in his sheriff's outfit, talking to men about Leadership. Leaders are people who influence thinking and actions of others because of who they are and what they do. 

 Dennis Rainey is quoted in saying 'The core of a man's life should be his relationship with God.  The man who walks humbly with God is motivated and empowered to step up and assume the difficult responsibilities that come his way.' As husbands, fathers, brothers - and even mentors, we as men need to heed the call "Christ is counting on you."

 This community has been a beacon of hope; a lighthouse for me. With the love and compassion of all my brothers and sisters, I stepped out into the unknown and graciously accepted being your Communications Coordinator. I know I have big shoes to fill and am grateful for Charissa Aclin - agreeing to mentor me in this position.

  As men, we want to leave a legacy for the next generation. As my brothers. As Uncommon Men. Let us be the ones to make a difference. Serve with a joyful noise. Praise God...and each other!


Ken Dieffenderfer

Hi, I am Leah Ellinger the Rectora from Weekend #74. What a blessing it is to be a part of God's Great Plan. He broughtour caring and loving team together for his work. He allowed us to walk alongside 13 pilgrims of whom 6 were fluent in Spanish. The Holy Spirit guided us all throughout the weekend. Not only did the pilgrims learn but so did the team and community.

Weekend vision: What does heaven look like to you? Watching the pilgrims and team communicate with one another besidesthrough language was a perfect picture of what heaven looks like to me.

Weekend Bible verse: Philippians 4:13

I Can Do All Things Through Christ Who Strengthens Me

I - Who am I? I am created in the image and likeness of God. I have the Light of Christ in me. I have gifts and talents that will allow me to make a positive contribution to Society as well as to make a positive witness for Christ. I am unique and special because God made me that way. I was not created with flaws, but I have flaws because I live in a flawed world. My flaws contribute to my being a sinful person. I am not a lost cause. I can find my way to Paradise through faith, works, repentance and God’s grace.

Can - Can is a positive word. It focuses on what is possible, not impossible. With God all things are possible. (Matthew 19:26) Every good and perfect gift is from Above. (James 1: 17) Apart from God we can do nothing. (John 15:5) Christ, faith, hope, salvation; these are all positive things. All things that we CAN have. This is a mindset we must create - a positive mindset that see the good in things, sees the glass half-full, finds Joy and Christ in all things.

Do - There is a difference between “hearing” and “doing”. Being a Christian, having faith is not only a state of “being”, and is not only based on what we “hear” but on what we do. But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. James 1:22

All - The Holy Spirit is everywhere and fills all things. There isn’t a good work that we undertake where Christ can’t be involved. Nor is Christianity something that we should compartmentalize - it is something that should be ever-present in our lives.

Things - What are the things that Christ helps us do? He helps us achieve the positive things that St. Paul speaks about - the things that are true, noble, just, pure, lovely, of good report, the praiseworthy things that glorify God. He helps us overcome things that challenge - being abased, being hungry, being in need.

Through - With the assistance of, in tandem with, in union with, with Christ as the head of Our lives. Christ is with us, in us, and we should allow Him to lead us

Christ - Our Lord, God, Savior, our Hope our Rock, our Salvation

Who - Christ is fully God and became fully man. He is at the same time our Creator and our redeemer. He has the strength of God, but understands the weakness of man. He experienced also the need for God.

Strengthens - Christ gives the strength to overcome challenges that can be overcome. He gives Strength to be patient with the challenges that cannot be overcome. He gives us wisdom to know when to surrender - and when to fight. He is the Comforting Father who consoles His children when they are sad. He is Encouraging Father who directs His children when they have lost their way.

Me - I am in the middle of God’s grand plan. I have already been born. I have yet to Die. I’m working my way through life, in the hope of everlasting life. I have constant challenges and obstacles in my path. I can’t make it by myself. I need His help, which comes both directly from Him, and through other people. This is why I am part of the church - to be around other people who can help me through life, to commune with Christ while on my journey. My relationship with Christ is at the same time communal - I belong to a community of people, enjoined with the saints and angels. But at the same time, faith is personal to me. I have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

God loves you and so do I


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